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Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America adds full testing capability for start-stop micro-hybrid systems

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. (MEAA) has completed construction of a testing lab for the growing start-stop micro-hybrid systems market. In the new lab, located at its Northville, Mich., research and development center, Mitsubishi Electric will be able to test as many as 10 engines simultaneously, ranging from one liter to 15 liters, for both automotive and heavy-duty/off-road applications.

The lab can test multiple fuel types, including gasoline and diesel, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

As with any new technology, having a testing facility close to where products are being developed is important for our customers who are working on these start-stop systems whose number in the market place are growing. This new lab for North American customers allows us to conduct multiple tests with many different OEM requirements.

This lab helps us expand our global testing capabilities by using the exact same equipment that is available at our test and development facility in Japan, ensuring consistency in approach while eliminating potential testing discrepancies.

—Clint McDermott, manager of research and development, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America

Start-stop systems are designed to automatically shut down the engine when the vehicle is stopped, such as at a light or in heavy traffic, and seamlessly restart the engine immediately when accelerating from a stopped position. This reduces the amount of time the engine spends idling, cuts fuel consumption by up to 10% and reduces tail pipe emissions.

One of 10 engine test stations located at Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America’s research and development center in Northville, Mich. Source: MEAA. Click to enlarge.

Starters for new automotive start-stop systems must be durable and robust, requiring more than 300,000 starts compared to approximately 30,000 for a traditional starter. As a result, it takes longer to complete the testing on these systems, which makes testing 24/7 on 10 different stations advantageous.

Mitsubishi Electric’s new lab will run these start-stop systems beyond their designed limits to ensure that they effectively meet the durability, reliability and structural integrity required. New test controllers at each of the 10 stations incorporate integrated feedback and recording, and can handle complex start patterns.

Mitsubishi Electric makes the starters for the start-stop systems and provides system design support in collaboration with OEM customers.


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